No SAG Award has a more complicated history with Oscar than Best Supporting Actress. Neither supporting category is as reliable at predicting the academy’s choices as the lead races, but Supporting Actress has the lowest rate of overlap for nominees of any of the acting categories. As for the rate of winners, that’s a longer story.
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74% of Supporting Actress nominees at SAG go on to receive Oscar nominations (74 out of 100), though not always in the same category (more on that below). Compare that to 75% agreement for Best Supporting Actor nominees, 81% for Best Actor, and 81% for Best Actress.
67% of Supporting Actress winners at SAG go on to win Oscars (14 out of 21), but that doesn’t tell the whole story either.
The first anomaly came in 1997, when there was a tie for the SAG Award: Kim Basinger (“L.A. Confidential”) and Gloria Stuart (“Titanic”) shared the Supporting Actress prize, but Basinger was the lone winner at the Oscars.
Then in 2000, Judi Dench (“Chocolat”) won SAG, but the Oscar went to Marcia Gay Harden (“Pollock”), who wasn’t even nominated by SAG. That was the first time in history that the Oscar winner failed to even receive a SAG nomination. To date, the only other actor to pull off that feat was Christoph Waltz (“Django Unchained“) for Best Supporting Actor in 2012.
In 2001, Helen Mirren (“Gosford Park”) won SAG while Jennifer Connelly (“A Beautiful Mind”) won Oscar, but that’s only because of a disagreement in category placement. SAG had nominated Connelly in the lead race instead.
The opposite happened in 2008. Kate Winslet (“The Reader”) won SAG’s supporting race, but the Oscars promoted her to the lead category and awarded her there. The Supporting Actress Oscar that year went to one of Winslet’s SAG rivals, Penelope Cruz (“Vicky Cristina Barcelona”), who must have been happy to have Winslet out of the way.
Since then, however, SAG and Oscar have been in lockstep. They have agreed on the last five winners in a row, and all but five of the last 25 nominees. Is the category due another major surprise?
Despite SAG’s mixed track record with Oscar in this category, we find many of the same names among top contenders at both events.
Patricia Arquette (“Boyhood“) is a four-time SAG nominee for her work in the TV dramas “Medium” and “Boardwalk Empire,” and now is aiming for her first nomination for film. Laura Dern (“Wild“) is also a past SAG nominee for TV (for HBO’s political docudrama “Recount”) looking for her first recognition for film work.
Emma Stone (“Birdman“) won a SAG Award as a member of the ensemble cast of “The Help,” but she has yet to be nominated for an individual performance. Jessica Chastain (“Interstellar”) was also a member of the winning cast of “The Help”; she also earned individual nominations for that film as well as “Zero Dark Thirty.”
Keira Knightley (“The Imitation Game“) and Carrie Coon (“Gone Girl“) are hoping to earn their first SAG nominations, but Meryl Streep (“Into the Woods“) has been a SAG juggernaut, earning 15 nominations and two wins – one for film (“Doubt”) and one for TV (“Angels in America”).
Melissa McCarthy (“St. Vincent“) previously earned a pair of SAG nominations – Ensemble and Supporting Actress – for “Bridesmaids,” while her “St. Vincent” costar Naomi Watts, also a contender for “Birdman,” received a pair of individual SAG bids for “21 Grams” and “The Impossible.”
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